Toronto (Nov. 22, 2016) – The Peter Munk Cardiac Centre has reached a major milestone within its Mechanical Circulatory Support Program — the largest mechanical heart program in Canada — implanting a 200th patient with a left ventricular assist device (LVAD) – a powerful mechanical pump which supports patients with advanced heart failure to pump blood to the entire body.

"As national leaders in the field of cardiac-assist device technology, our globally-recognized experts continue to push the boundaries of what is possible when it comes to both saving or improving the quality of life for end-stage heart failure patients," says Dr. Barry Rubin, Medical Director, Peter Munk Cardiac Centre, University Health Network (UHN). "Through a blend of research and the highly-specialized application of innovative device therapies and treatments like the mechanical heart, we are increasingly able to offer these patients a potential lifeline."

The recipient of the 200th LVAD, a resident of Toronto in his early 60's with no previous heart condition, was unexpectedly diagnosed with a rare cardiac disease earlier this year. "My heart had deteriorated so that it was only operating at 20 per cent of its normal function. I was very close to death," says the patient, who did not want his name disclosed. "The LVAD surgery was so successful. I feel so good," he says of the surgical implant procedure which took place this past fall.

"The impact of mechanical heart technology on heart failure patients since our Program began in 2001 has been a remarkable evolution," says Dr. Vivek Rao, cardiac surgeon and Division Head, Cardiovascular surgery, Peter Munk Cardiac Centre. "While its primary function remains as an interim supporting device towards the end goal of a heart transplant, cardiac-assist technology is increasingly being used as destination therapy, with our longest-surviving patient at six years and counting — living with a mechanical heart."

With ongoing severe shortages of transplantable donor hearts, other treatment options, like mechanical hearts are looked to more and more as potential options for advanced heart failure patients. The most rapidly-rising cardiovascular disease in Canada, heart failure currently afflicts more than one million Canadians, with some 60,000 new patients diagnosed with the preventable but incurable condition each year.

The 200th LVAD patient milestone comes as the Peter Munk Cardiac Centre's Mechanical Heart Program is announced as the beneficiary of support from Canadian Pacific (CP) and CP Has Heart through the CFL playoffs and this Sunday's Grey Cup.

"CP congratulates the Peter Munk Cardiac Centre on this important milestone," said Mark Wallace, CP Vice-President Corporate Affairs. "Heart failure is fast becoming an epidemic in Canada. We're proud to support the Mechanical Heart Program, which gives hope and a life back to hundreds of patients. Through CP Has Heart, we've raised $80,000 during the CFL playoffs and we will donate another $10,000 for every touchdown scored during the 104th Grey Cup. We will be cheering for lots of touchdowns from the Stampeders and REDBLACKS this weekend."

About Canadian Pacific

Canadian Pacific (TSX:CP)(NYSE:CP) is a transcontinental railway in Canada and the United States with direct links to eight major ports, including Vancouver and Montreal, providing North American customers a competitive rail service with access to key markets in every corner of the globe. CP is growing with its customers, offering a suite of freight transportation services, logistics solutions and supply chain expertise. Visit cpr.ca to see the rail advantages of CP.

About CP Has Heart

At CP, we know that a railroad may serve as the arteries of a nation, but at its heart is community. That's why, through CP Has Heart, we've already committed more than $8 million to help improve the heart health of men, women and children across North America. And along the way, we're showing heart whenever we can. Find out more on www.cpr.ca.

About the Peter Munk Cardiac Centre

The Peter Munk Cardiac Centre is the premier cardiac centre in Canada. Since it opened in 1997, the Centre has saved and improved the lives of cardiac and vascular patients from around the world. Each year, approximately 55,000 patients receive innovative and compassionate care from multidisciplinary teams in the Peter Munk Cardiac Centre, and the Centre trains more cardiologists, cardiovascular surgeons and vascular surgeons than any other hospital in Canada. The Centre is based at the Toronto General Hospital and the Toronto Western Hospital - members of University Health Network. www.petermunkcardiaccentre.ca

Media Contact

Phone: 416 340 4636
Email: UHN.News@uhn.ca

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